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February 15, 2001

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Williams for District 6
When Frank Peterman was elected last fall to the Florida House of Representatives, his colleagues on the St. Petersburg City Council were faced with an impressive list of applicants to replace him. Two men stood out then: civic activist Abdul Karim Ali and insurance agent Earnest Williams. The same two men stand out in the campaign to elect a permanent replacement.

Fetal research has its place
In translating his opposition to abortion into policy decisions, President Bush should not eliminate some of the most promising weapons to emerge recently in the fight against chronic disease. Bush has hinted broadly that his next executive order might end federal funding for stem-cell research. Through spokesmen, Bush recently repeated his opposition to "taxpayer funding for fetal tissue research from induced abortions" and government financing of "experimentation on embryonic stem cells that require live human embryos to be discarded or destroyed."

Spare the mentally ill
An amendment that could keep the mentally retarded from facing death by giving a judge the power to spare their life is a good safety net.

Nation's needs should come before a tax cut
How ridiculous it is that members of Congress are now considering a tax cut when the education and health care needs of their constituents are so great and so unmet. Some schools are in disrepair, some students are taught in temporary buildings, some text books must be shared, and the teaching profession is miserably underpaid. Can we ignore these education needs in favor of cutting taxes?  

Taking jobs, alienating customers
For weeks Americans have been told that the outsourcing of high-tech jobs is good for our economy. So said Greg Mankiw, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers in a recent report signed by President Bush. So, too, writes Thomas Friedman of the New York Times in articles praising the rise of call centers in India used for everything from making airline reservations and reading medical X-ray films to providing tech support for American computer firms.

Philip Gailey: Democrats fall off campaign finance reform wagon
Well, what do you know. Soft money is back, and it's making hypocrites of all those Democrats who fervently championed the McCain-Feingold campaign reform law, not to mention those Republicans who objected to the law's restrictions on issue advocacy.

Bill Maxwell: Who is for the farm worker?
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is touting legislation to improve the lives of Florida's 300,000-plus farm workers, who endure institutional and systemic injustices each day in our fields and groves and their personal lives.

Robyn E. Blumner: For some defendants, an American gulag
In Bernard Malamud's masterpiece The Fixer, inmate Yakov Bok was subjected to psychological torture in a Soviet gulag through the humiliations of constant shackling and repeated strip searches.

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